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Frequently Asked Questions

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you evaluate patients so young?

The purpose of an early orthodontic visit allows the orthodontist to do a complete evaluation and check for any issues or concerns that could affect jaw development, or the adult teeth from erupting properly. If orthodontic treatment is not recommended at this time, it may be needed in the future, so the child will be evaluated periodically to monitor development and proper tooth eruption. Many orthodontic problems are easier to correct if detected at an early age before jaw growth has slowed. Early treatment may mean that a patient can avoid surgery and more serious complications. 

What are some signs that orthodontic treatment may be necessary?

  • Upper front teeth protrude excessively over the lower teeth, or stick out.

  • Crowded, rotated or overlapped teeth.

  • Upper front teeth cover the majority of the lower teeth when biting together (deep bite).

  • Upper front teeth are behind or inside the lower front teeth (underbite).

  • The upper and lower front or back teeth do not touch when biting together (open bite).

  • When you close your mouth and some of your upper teeth are sitting inside your lower teeth rather than on the outside (crossbite).

  • The center of the upper and lower teeth do not line up (misalignment).

  • Habits such as finger nail biting,  thumb sucking, mouth breathing or tongue thrusting

  • Difficulty chewing, or swallowing.

  • Teeth wearing unevenly or excessively (traumatic occlusion).

  • The lower jaw shifts to one side or the other during biting.

  • Spacing between the teeth.

  • Extra, missing or impacted teeth.

What is Phase I and Phase II treatment?

Phase I, or early interceptive treatment, is limited orthodontic treatment (i.e., expander or partial braces) before all the permanent teeth have emerged. Such treatment can occur between the ages of six and ten. This treatment is sometimes recommended to make more space for developing teeth, correction of crossbites, overbites, underbites, or harmful oral habits.

Phase II treatment is also called comprehensive treatment, because it involves full braces when all of the permanent teeth have appeared, usually between the ages of eleven and thirteen.

What is the Cost of Orthodontic Treatment?

Cost depends on the severity of the orthodontic condition, the type of treatment being performed, and the duration of treatment needed. The total price for orthodontic treatment can range anywhere between $2,400 - $6,000. After an evaluation is completed by Dr. Tam, we can then put together a detailed treatment plan that outlines the total cost of orthodontic therapy and financial arrangements. We will do our best to try and create a payment plan to help make the cost of treatment more affordable. In order to learn what type of treatment would work best for you, and how much it will cost, we encourage you to schedule a free consultation here.

Do braces hurt?

Getting braces on does not hurt. Your teeth will become sore and tender about 4-6 hours after you leave and usually lasts for a couple days. If needed, we recommend Tylenol products to help easy the discomfort.

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